Elon Musk's SpaceX Loses 'Zuma' Government Payload

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The Zuma payload was contracted for launch by Northrop Grumman for the USA government, Northrop then selected SpaceX as the carrier of the payload.

The next satellite assigned to fly on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has arrived at Cape Canaveral ahead of a planned January 30 liftoff from pad 40 on a previously-flown SpaceX booster. Since, the launching window is set to open on Jan 30 at 4:23 pm EST (2123 GMT) and continues to 134 minutes.

Technicians will fuel the satellite, named GovSat 1, with hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide maneuvering propellant in the coming days, then close it up inside the Falcon 9's clamshell-like payload fairing. The Falcon 9 won US Air Force certification for national-security space missions in May 2015, breaking a lock long-held by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp.

The Zuma payload was built for the government by Northrop Grumman.

"For clarity: after reviewing of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night".

"If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately", Shotwell added.

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At Pad 39A, where Saturn V rockets and space shuttles launched, the first SpaceX Falcon 9 Heavy rocket is standing tall on the pad, where the commercial company's team was scheduled to perform a "static fire" test Thursday. The mission, backed by the U.S. government, has become the talk of the town because neither the agency behind the liftoff nor the Pentagon are taking responsibility or sharing details about it post the liftoff.

"Since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed, we do not anticipate any impact on the upcoming launch schedule", she said. "SpaceX will follow through to make sure they were not part of the problem", he said. Currently, SpaceX is facing fierce competition from ULA, a launch provider operated by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, both of which have long relationships with various elements of the USA government.

Shotwell went on to state that this latest mishap will have no bearing on future SpaceX launches, and that Falcon Heavy is being prepped for its maiden flight.

A strong showing on Falcon Heavy's first outing will enhance the perception of SpaceX's capabilities and will also contribute to the view of its market value, Christensen said.

On launch day, safely tucked away in a protective payload fairing will be Musk's 2008 Tesla Roadster, an all-electric sports vehicle that boosted his energy company during its formative years.